When Change Is the Only Constant, You Need to Be Agile

In one of our recent videos, we use the words “change is now constant.” That phrase got me thinking. Is it hyperbole, or an honest reflection of what’s going on in healthcare in the first part of the 21st Century? On reflection, it seems a reasonable characterization.

By Mark Badia, General Manager, Agile IT as a Service

Take a look, for instance, at the headlines for the last 10 years: shifting reimbursement models, mergers & acquisitions, Obama-care, meaningful use and many others. All of them driving substantial and significant change. And that’s before we think about developments in medical science and changes in demographics.

If that’s not enough, there’s also the complete re-orientation of technology brought about by “SMAC” (social, mobile, analytics and cloud). To decode what’s going on here, CSC’s CTO Office has produced a whole series of papers setting out the route map for the journey to the digital enterprise.

And yet, many healthcare providers are still dealing with the challenges of last century’s new technology. It’s a sobering thought that maybe as much as 80% of IT budgets are consumed simply keeping the lights on. And things get even more uncomfortable with industry analysts predicting that 65% of transactions with healthcare organizations will be mobile by 2018, and 80% of healthcare data will pass through the cloud by 2020.

Mixed race goalkeeper in mid-air protecting goalContinuing with the same approach to IT won’t be enough. Dealing with the two opposed imperatives of stability and change requires a new and transformational approach. We call it Agile IT.

There are two ways for the CIO to look at this: opportunity or threat. I come down firmly on the opportunity side of the equation. There has never been a more exciting time to be leading a technology function in a healthcare organization. Yes, the challenge is enormous, but the opportunity to make a difference for patients, for populations and for people working in healthcare has never been greater.

 

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